NEW plans to build 27 homes on the site of a drained reservoir have been approved.

Eccleston Homes has been given the green light by councillors to press ahead with building a new housing development in Temple Road, Smithills.

The landowner purchased the site last year, after Bolton Council’s planning committee previously approved a 26-home plan for the site, and came up with amended designs for the housing estate.

A spokesman for Eccleston told councillors yesterday that building work on the site is expected to commence ‘as soon as possible’ and that construction could be completed by September 2019.

When the plans last came before the town hall’s committee, residents argued that wildlife had returned to the area since the reservoir was first drained in 2011 and deserved protection.